After the civil war the united was split into two and the reconstruction was bring back the South into the Union.What really led to the reconstruction was the four big issues from the Civil War. The union had to worry about bringing the south back into the union.
How do we rebuild the south after its destruction during the war? How do we integrate and protect emancipated blacks? What branch of government should control the process of reconstruction? These four question is the main issues during the Reconstruction era after the war. In the reconstruction it had many key figures like Abraham Lincoln the president after the war who had to deal with the problems But later he was assassinated which brought another key figure Andrew Johnson and he was a big problem in the reconstruction era. He was a big racist and didn’t agree on 14th amendment. There was many other key figure whom were involved in the war like Ulysses S. Grant and William T Sherman. The questions were asked on how are you gonna help former slave and poor whites.
Congress and Oliver O. Howard chief Commissioner addresses this problem and introduces Freedmen’s Bureau on March 1865. Its Great success was in education it taught an estimated 200,000 African Americans on how to read. An idea was “Forty acres and a mule” which was Confiscated land to be given to former slaves but the outcome was that it never happened and this then ended in blacks being economically vulnerable. At the end of the civil war Lincoln proposed a 10 percent plan. The 10 percent plan was directed towards southerners not the high ranking confederate officials. It was an oath that pledged your loyalty to the union and accepting slavery.
When 10 percent of the 1860 voting population had pledged to the oath citizens could vote for new state governments and new state constitution.Lincoln would protect southern private property but not their slaves if you pledged . Most Republicans in congress supported this because they wanted the war to end quick.The Ten Percent plan was political action more than a plan for reconstruction. Lincoln wanted to end the war quickly. He was scared that the war would lose public support and the and fight would keep happening if he didn’t end it quickly. Not all northers agreed with Lincoln and then they made their own plan called the Wade Davis plan.
This plan was a little more strict and it required 50% to take and oath of allegiance. It was a tougher plan it excluded those who aided the confederacy. Lincoln felt like it was more strict so he pocket vetoed which is a indirect veto.President Lincoln was very concerned with southern sympathizers called Copperhead and many North had concerns on many Copperheads in the area. With Lincoln was concerned with copperhead in the North he put Military control and martial law in these areas. This Let he military arrest civilians that were suspected to be disloyal but the Constitution guarantees habeas corpus, which means that people have the right to go to court and have a judge determine if it is legal for them to be held. This right is important because it prevents the authorities acting illegally. In 1864, during the Civil War, Lambdin Milligan and four others were arrested in indiana.
They were charged with plotting to steal weapons and free Confederate war prisoners. They were sentenced for death penalty, but because of the Constitution right of habeas corpus it was appealed (Key Supreme Court Cases). The case meant life or death for five mean creating the Ex Parte Milligan case. The issue was does arm conflict within the united states justify imposing military law (Key Supreme Court Cases)The Supreme court decided that the president had too much power and Indiana was not under attack. Milligan was not with the Confederacy and he was not a prisoner of war. He was arrested for treason where he would the right to a jury. The impact of this was he was released from prison and was never convicted.
In April 14, 1865 Lincoln was assassinated while attending a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. The assassin, John wilkes Booth, escaped with a broken leg then was later shot.
John Wilkes Booth was a Southern sympathizer during the civil war, who plotted with six fellow conspirators to assassinate union leaders(Reconstruction). The short reconstruction plan was ruined when lincoln was assassinated and his Vice President andrew Johnson took office. After Lincoln’s Death people saw him as a hero. Even some southern leaders did not like that he was murdered at his murder. After lincoln’s death Andrew Jackson’s steps in and becomes the 17th President and people wondered what his plans on reconstruction would be. Jackson Recognized the 10% plan and disenfranchise former confederate leaders with anybody who owned 20,000 of taxable property.Another thing Johnson did was make all states ratify the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery but Johnson does something that really made north leaders mad which was he would pardon most former Confederate leaders. After Johnson Pardons Confederate leaders southerners planters re established political control of southern politics and which is the most remendable is the former vice president Alexander stephens elected senator of georgia and Northers are outraged by this.
Another Evident that took place was Southern Defiance or Black codes which its purpose was to guarantee a stable labor supply now that blacks are emancipated and southerners hoped it would restore pre emancipation system of race relations. Some examples of this was it prohibited African Americans from renting land or borrowing money to buy land it also included African Americans Forced to sign labor contracts if you did not have your contact there was a penalty for leaving before contract expired and African Americans can’t serve on a jury or vote. As a result of this Many African Americans were forced to become sharecroppers and the idea was it allowed to use land in exchange for giving percent of crop to owner of the land. It looked like a new form of slavery and Congress wasn’t happy with that. A result of this new form of slavery really angered the North and by 1866 Northern Republicans in Congress are angry when former southern confederate officials are returned to office.
As a result of this it called out for a stricter version of reconstruction. Congress then breaks with the president and begins to take over and prevent Southern Congressional delegates from coming back. Another thing is President vetoed the Freedmen’s Bureau extension but congress overrides his veto. Same thing happened with the Civil rights bill of 1866 which Gave citizen to African Americans and congress overrode Johnson’s veto Again. Congress wanted to prevent southern states from overturning laws passed during reconstruction. Which led to the 14th Amendment which Declared all people Born in the U.
S are citizens of the U.S including African Americans another thing it did was states must protect rights and provide “equal protection of the law & due process”(Legal Information Institute) and it Prevented former confederates political officials from holding political office, southern states would be punished for denying the right to vote to black citizens. What’s happening is congress is setting the rules and there was many debates between Radicals vs Moderates. Radicals wanted to go much further with reconstruction and Moderates were more cautious with their approaches. The Key thing happens when reconstruction act of 1867 divided the south into 5 military districts controlled by the union generals. It made sure Reconstruction was going on in the south and it was being followed. Former Southern confederates were disenfranchised which meant the Lincoln and Johnson ten percent plan was invalid.Southern states had to be readmitted and had to create a new constitution including black suffrage and ratification of the 13th and 14th Amendments.
In 1867 congress passed Tenure of office Act in order to reduce presidential power and to protect Republican reconstruction cabinet members. What it said was Senate must approve any presidential dismissal of a cabinet official or general and Johnson violates this act by removing secretary of state Edwin Stanton in 1868 and then President Johnson was impeached he was the first president to get impeached in history. The 15th amendments was the right to vote could not be denied “on account of race color, or previous condition of servitude.” (Primary Documents in American History) The outcome of the 15th Amendment was south temporarily experienced a social and political revolution. Republicans were taking states in presidential elections.
A example of this is Hiram Revels an african american who was elected in 1870 to seat that jefferson Davis use to hold. A result of this a republican a former union General ulysses grant won with the republican party with many African American male voters and southern whites known as Scalawags. Eventually the Reconstruction falls apart the Ku Klux Klan was established to secure white supremacy and resist Reconstruction government.
Then the government tries to deal with this issue with the Force of Acts of 1870 and 1871 intended to stop resistance to reconstruction. Federal troops were sent to stop the KKK as a result. The Civil rights act of 1875 which was to guaranteed equal access to public places.
Protect right to serve on juries.(Urofsky, Melvin I) The Civil rights act was rarely enforced and eventually overturned by the supreme court in 1883. By 1870s Congress and the President Grant would be unwilling to use federal government to monitor southern society and finally the reconstruction will come to an end.The United states got a lot of benefits from the reconstruction and had great success.
The overall outcome of it was it reunited the union the country was divided at the end of the civil war and the reconstruction put it back in place. The second thing it did was open up political opportunities to former slaves and a prime example is Hiram Revels.Another outcome of reconstruction was it Temporary rearranged the relationships between white and black people of the south.